Environment budget, up 44% – big promises for the green sector

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The draft budget for the year 2019 of the Ministry of Environment received a favorable vote on Monday by the specialized committees of the Parliament with 19 votes for and 8 votes against.

None of the 11 amendments submitted was accepted, according to Agerpres.

“I want this year to be at least as favorable as 2018. We want to absorb European funds with great value for the benefit of the citizens. We want the Environmental Fund Administration – AFM budget to be approved very quickly. We will continue the Rabla Program in 2019, for the 15th year”, said Minister of Environment Grațiela Gavrilescu during the hearings.

“At the same time, the Rabla Plus program will continue this year, and the increase compared to 2016, when it was launched, is from 45 electric cars bought by the Romanians to 1,400 purchased in 2018. We also need the household appliances to be replaced, and the budget of 25 million lei allocated for 2018 was exhausted in just three days.”

“At the same time, for e-cars charging stations, the project submission session for municipalities is ongoing until 31 March. Another important program is the installation of photovoltaic panels, whereby every citizen can also become a small electricity supplier. Another project refers to the awareness and information of the population regarding the selective collection of waste, which will be financed by the Environment Fund”, Gavrilescu said.

Asked about the future form of environmental stamp (car tax, previously), Gavrilescu said that setting a new penalty has proved to be no easy thing “because you have to take into account a multitude of formulas”.

“We are on schedule with payments, and by June 30 we will observe out promise in respect to all the amounts. We said we have to put a penalty instead, but it has turned out to be not so easy to do it, because you have to take into account a multitude of calculations, European directives (…). I admit that maybe it was too much enthusiasm from my side, but I think I did not make a mistake when I announced it”, the Minister said.

The budget forecast published on the website of the Ministry of Public Finance (MFP) provides for the Ministry of Environment an allocation of 580,3 million lei, in 2019, up by 44.37% compared to the preliminary execution of 2018 (401,9 million lei). Commitment credits are also estimated at 580,3 million lei, a 28.44% increase compared to last year.

The current expenses would be at 514,4 million lei, 49.74% higher compared to the previous year, while for goods and services 108.610 million lei would be allocated, by 15.09% more than the value in 2018.

At the same time, the personnel expenses will have an allocation of 190 million lei (+9.98% compared to 2018).

Also, the projects with financing from non-reimbursable foreign funds for to the 2014-2020 financial framework are set at 153,96 million lei, an increase almost eight times increase compared to the previous year’s allocation.

For the Ministry of Environment, the financing sources are: 91.26% from the state budget, 0.17 non-reimbursable external funds and 8.57% of own revenues, according to Agerpres.

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